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We decided to spend the day at the edge of the bay and the best way to see it is definitely by bike. Amy, Susie and I took the train from Fairfield to Flinders street and then down to Brighton beach (incidentally the line passed through both Sandringham and Windsor as well as Brighton)
After jumping off the train we cycled around the coast until a view of the Melbourne skyline required a stop. In front of the skyline were the brightly coloured Brighton beach boxes quite an anomaly against the modern skyscrapers in the distance and were just nestled in the edge of the beach. Swimming at the waters edges were black swans and many jellyfish washed up which we later found out were blue blubber jellyfish.
We continued cycling round until we reached our coffee stop at Brighton bay sea baths, an enclosed section of the sea with 50m length lanes parralell to the shore stretching 300m into the bay. We had a butter croissant, an almond croissant and a cup of tea all taken whilst sat under a tall palm tree.
The boulevard of Palm trees extended for several kilometres as we cycled around the bay and made you feel quite tropical, a sensation heightened by the 28 degree day and bright sunshine (although that very occasionally vanished behind the odd bank of cloud)

Arriving at St Kilda pier we wandered out to see the new kiosk building at the end of the pier, which was rebuilt in the original style after a fire in the early part of this century. We didn’t stop at the cafe however and continued walking around the back of the pier to where rocks were piled up to form a harbour wall shielding boats from the bay. A colony of Little Penguins has settled there and can be found hiding in between the rocks. At up to a foot in height they are the smallest species of penguin. We spotted one little chap tucked up between two rocks who seemed very cool with us watching him and I could imagine him being quite interested in us! As we walked back along the pier there were two shapes moving in the water which at first glance could have been clumps of seaweed. However, as it moved in very erratic patterns its tail became apparent and two stingrays were clearly visible just below the water line. Each around a meter in width and 1.5 in length.

Our reason for heading up St Kilda pier was to find somewhere to eat. We eventually found a great little place between St Kilda pier and Port Melbourne just a little further around the coast. I had fish and chips – Australian style! It was Barramundi fish which has a really delicious taste and was perfect after a hot bike ride.

The route continued on to port Melbourne where the Spirit of Tasmania was in port. A very large ocean going vessel dwarfed the old immigration centre where new arrivals to the country were processed and checked for lice etc!

After this we followed the tram lines into the city and enjoyed a cold ice cream at the foot of the crown casino complex. There used to be fireballs from towers along the Yarra outside the complex on the hour which we waited for but this didn’t happen whilst we waited.

The evening meal was my first BBQ in Melbourne and the sausages from the local Italian butcher were absolutely delicious. Coupled with a red cabbage and apple side with sweet potatoes and carrots.

During the evening the news was filled with details of a siege in Sydney which was very close to the hotel we are staying in tomorrow. It’s meant that most of the area is completely closed and we might not be able to get to the area. The foreign office advice is to avoid the area so we might not be going. After several calls to the insurance company we’ve established that I probably won’t be covered as it’s probably a terrorist attack. Anyway we will see what happens in the morning…

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